It’s a phone. It’s a grenade. Actually it’s the new Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and it’s sort of acting like both right now. It’s only been a month since Samsung released the latest version of their popular phablet to rave reviews but troubles are mounting as they try to address the problem of the phone’s battery exploding while charging.
Samsung acknowledged 35 confirmed cases globally in a recent statement. Now they’re asking all customers who’ve bought the phone already to power them down immediately and return them for a new one in a massive recall. They’ve also discontinued sales of the dangerous model as they conduct an investigation into the cause of the phone battery problem.
Some shocking stories are already coming to light of damage and even injury caused by exploding Samsung phones. A 6-year-old boy was taken to a local hospital in New York for burns when the phone exploded in his hands (He was later released after treatment). Fox 13 reported that one St. Petersburg, Florida family’s Jeep caught on fire when one member left his Galaxy Note 7 charging in the car.
Note 7 explosion totals family jeep. how lovely https://t.co/cmMe9OGlPo
— braden (@bradenwh) September 8, 2016
Now the Federal Aviation Administration is warning passengers not to use their phones on flights.
“In light of recent incidents and concerns raised by Samsung about its Galaxy Note 7 devices, the Federal Aviation Administration strongly advises passengers not to turn on or charge these devices on board aircraft and not to stow them in any checked baggage,” the FAA said.
Major airline companies are following suit. American, Delta, United, and Qantas are all warning their passengers not to turn on or charge their phones for the duration of the flight.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is now partnering with Samsung to announce an official recall and they’re telling consumers who’ve already bought the phone to “power them down and stop charging or using the device.” But the partnership is late in coming. Consumer Reports had criticized the Korea-based conglomerate earlier this month for not handling the recall aggressively enough at the outset. For example, because the recall was not official, the non-profit found in an independent audit that some retail locations still had the Galaxy Note 7 in stock.
“Samsung should immediately initiate an official recall with the Consumer Product Safety Commission given the serious nature of the safety problem it identified with the Galaxy Note 7,” said Maria Rerecich, Consumer Reports director of electronics testing. “We are particularly concerned that phones continue to be available for sale today.”
It’s estimated Samsung has so far manufactured 2.5 million phones and the recall will cost the company roughly $1 billion – an amount they’ve described as “heartbreaking”. Yes, we’re all sure it’s heartbreaking to
What may be more heartbreaking than the money, is the beating this will have on the company’s reputation. If their plummeting stock price is any indicator, public trust in Samsung has crashed and burned.